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Friday, September 21, 2007

Kaycee's Walk To Remember

Tomorrow we're going to Kaycee's Walk To Remember. It's an event to raise money for SIDS research and to honor our children who have died. There's a professionally timed 5k run/walk, the actual half mile Walk to Remember, Custom Car and Street Rod Show, Guest Speakers, Silent Auction, SIDS Memorial and Food. Plus lots of Infant and Child Death Prevention and Safety information.

Beautiful little Kaycee died at 3 months of age due to SIDS. I "met" her parents on the MISS Foundation website and keep in contact via MySpace. It's people like them that inspire me with their strength.

I wanted to have Tshirts made for us to wear to honor Jack, but the date totally snuck up on me! On my lunch today I went to Joanne's and picked up some shirts and iron-on transfer stuff, we'll see if I can put something together tonight.

Going to this may not be a big deal to most, but for me, it's like "Coming out of the grief closet". I'm very verbal about being a mother of an angel online but publicly I always trip over my words when someone asks me questions. I even rehearse in my head what someone might ask and what I would say but when it all comes out it's horribly garbled and they can tell I'm not wanting to talk about it, EVEN though I am! I want to talk about Jack. I don't want anyone to forget about him. But wanting to and doing so are two very different things. Because I don't talk about him out loud very often, I almost always start to cry or get that lump in my throat. Most of the local people I know online from the support boards will probably be there tomorrow. We may have people recognize us, or if we wear the shirts, recognize Jack's name. Which means people might talk to us and I'll be forced to talk back, it's scary for me, this new me, I've become.

Time to go home, I'll write more later.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Joey and Jory, The Beginning.

I figured after 10 years together I would have already posted our "How did we meet" story, however I never have. It's a long story or should I say I make it a long story because that's the way I tell stories, all the important details included.

In August 1997, my very good friend Sara had been chatting with her friend Jessie online and over the course of conversation she mentioned that she needed to find her Long Hair Hippie Man of her dreams. Jessie said she had a coworker, Jory who was really kool and she thought he fit the description. Jessie then told Jory about Sara and they began chatting online. A few days later Sara mentioned to Jory that she was taking the bus to Canada and was looking for a ride to the bus station in Pocatello, ID (2 hours north of Logan, UT where Sara and I lived. 3.5 hours north of Salt Lake where Jory lived). Jory told her he enjoyed long drives and was willing to give her a ride. Since this is was an unusually nice offer, I insisted I go with for her safety.

August 16, 1997, Sara called and told me her and Jory were on their way to pick me up. I asked her if he was hot and she said he was so I immediately ran and put on my "Guy gettin' tank top". Next thing I know I'm coming out to the living room and Sara and Jory meet me under the arch separating the living and dinning room in my mom's house. I see him, I know instantly that I will marry him. I should also mention I had a boyfriend at the time.

We take off for PocaFellow, Jory's driving, Sara is sitting next to him, I'm chillin' in the back. We talk about music as I rifle through his CD collection, it was like looking at my own collection. We stopped at some po-dunk gas station and I take every opportunity to catch his eye, I see him looking at my boobs. I wonder how obvious I'm being, Sara has to see there's this connection between he and I. All I'm thinking about is, how am I going to explain this to Nate. I believe cheating starts when you picture yourself with someone else. I couldn't stop picturing Jory and I together. I needed to end things with Nate. I could tell Sara liked him, he was here for her, not me. I didn't want to be THAT friend, it had almost happened 4 times before with her and I. But I couldn't deny what was inevitable.

After what seemed like days, we finally arrived at the bus station. It felt as though we were old friends. We all got along so well. We took pictures, she hugged me and told me "Hands Off". I agreed, even though I knew ultimately it was out of my hands. You can't change what is meant to be.

On our way home, we talked non stop. Every time Jory lit up a cigarette it smelled funny, not pot funny. I asked him twice if he was smoking Sara's herbal cigarettes and the 2nd time he took a good look and realized he was. We laughed hard. He said he thought something was different. I teased him because How Could You NOT Know, herbal cigarettes are like smoking Air, you don't feel anything in your lungs, there's no satisfaction.

He invited me to a party at his friend Kade's house that night. I WANTED to go more then anything in the world, but I was already on my last leg at work, if I was late one more time I would be fired. I should have gone, I think I quit shortly after that anyway or was I fired? I forget now.

We paused in the car as we said goodbye, I wanted to kiss him but knew I couldn't. I wondered if he felt the same. I already missed him.

The next day at work I told my coworkers all about him, how I knew I was going to marry him, how Sara was going to kill me because this would be the 4th guy she introduced me to that she liked and they liked me a little too much. (it's funny I just counted and realized it was 4, I've always thought he was the 3rd, I forgot about the one in Orem that one night, oh poor Sara and her vomit breath. I won't say anymore.

I called Nate and told him I needed to talk to him. I explained that I had met someone and just knew he was the one. I assured him I hadn't done anything yet. But he knew my feelings about cheating. My heart had already betrayed him. He was really kool about it. He thought I was a little crazy since Jory and I hadn't made any steps to see each other again. I could be alone in my feelings. I told him it didn't matter, I was going to pursue Jory so it had to be over with us. He told me he loved me and wished me the best of luck in life. It was the first time one of my relationships ended on a good note. If we saw each other in the future, it wouldn't be awkward, we would be like old friends. (As a side note, about 3 or 4 years later, Jory and the boys ran into Nate Frisbee Golfing. All Jory could say was he looked chubby. LOL he wasn't chubby when we were together, but that wouldn't have mattered anyway.)

That night I chatted with Jory, flirting hard core. I had never chased a guy before, always let them come to me. (That's not true, I did go after one, John E. only because I wanted to prove a point to his girlfriend that she wasn't as kool as she thought she was. Unfortunately it was all too easy and after a few months of going out, he wanted a little more then I was willing to give him and I just wasn't that into him. I avoided him for a couple weeks, not wanting to hurt him, he got the hint and found someone else.)
BACK to my hard core flirting with Jory. He told me he was going to some music thing downtown with his friend Tom and Tom's girlfriend. Some guy playing the guitar or something. I told him I should come down, but if I did I couldn't promise to keep my hands off him...or something like that. woo woo, I know dirrrty! He ended up not going and I ended up not making it to SLC, I had no car and couldn't talk anyone into driving me.

A few days later, Juli had to go to SLC, something about a plane ticket (this was 10 years ago, my memory isn't perfect) so after we took care of her ticket, we called Jory's house (this was before everyone and their dog had a cell phone) and Rod answered, his roommate. He said Jory was still at the baseball game (weird, he wasn't the type I figured went to baseball games) but he'd be home soon, we should just come over. Wanting to see Jory so badly, we decided to go hang with Rod until he got home.

As we walked in, Tom looked at me and said, "You must be Joey".
Excitedly, I said yes.
You look exactly as Jory had described.
"So he's been talking about me eh?" I responded.
Tom laughed and said YEAH.
Thinking this must mean he likes me, I giggled to myself.

We sat down and chatted for a bit, it didn't feel as awkward as I had expected. Rod and Tom were pretty kool and they made us feel very comfortable for being total strangers. I do remember Tom telling me something about how Jory hadn't "seen" a girl for 3 years and how I must be "Something Special" to have interested him.

It wasn't too long before Jory showed up, drunk as a skunk I might add. A few too many beers at the game. I think we ended up renting a movie that night? A Clockwork Orange if I remember correctly. It's definitely not the same movie sober.

A few days or a week later, I talked Eric into going to SLC. We surprised Jory by just showing up at the house. Probably not the best idea, but it worked out. I didn't want to freak him out so I told him we were in SLC to see our other friends but thought we'd stop by but Eric blew my ridiculously stupid cover. I was embarrassed because I wanted to see him, but didn't want him to think I was a stalker. I still didn't know if he even liked me! Eric and Rod hit it off immediately. After that Eric was always up for going to SLC, he'd actually drive from Ogden to Logan to pick me up then we'd head back to SLC.

The 2nd weekend after we'd met, Sara came home. I didn't dare tell her Jory and I had hung out while she was gone or that I was interested in him. I think I told her that we had talked, because she had me call him to see if he wanted to join us in Ogden at the drive in movies. I think she said, since you've talked to him on the phone, you should call and invite him.
We met that night at the drive in, Men In Black and Excess Baggage were playing. Sara spent the night trying to sit between Jory and I and at some point we sort of turned it into a game and started wrestling. I'm sure Jory was amused or annoyed?

The next night, Jory came up to Logan to my apartment. I don't remember who was all there, Eric and Juli, maybe Jenni? We were all sitting in my living room, having a great time. I had no furniture, just a twin mattress on the floor. I was sitting on my bed, Jory was on the banana chair in front of me. I figured I would make my move, as slyly as can be in front of all my friends. I moved my foot over to his chair and as I had HOPED for, he reached down and caressed my leg. I know how lame that sounds, but it was the sign I had been looking for! He did like me! That night he stayed over, refusing to sleep on the bed next to me, fearing I might molest him ;) For whatever reason, half awake, I opened my eyes and noticed he was looking back at me. Now fully awake, I asked him what he was doing, it was obviously still very early in the morning. He said he liked to watch me sleep. I begged him to get on the bed where it was obviously more comfortable then the floor, he finally agreed. Shortly after, we had our first kiss and it lasted 48 hours! Oh yeah baby! We made out like bandits for two days, taking short breaks to go outside and smoke in the alley (*at my drive thru drug window). At some point during the 2nd day, Jory told me he didn't want to scare me but he wanted me to know he loved me, which was crazy because I had been thinking the exact same thing! That day, Jory and I officially became "an item" and decided we wanted to grow old together. That day was Sept. 8th 1997.

*I'll save the Drive Thru drug window story for another post. Also, I'll tell you all about the day Sara confronted me about Jory and my broken promise. But so you can sleep at night while waiting...Sara forgave me after a week, we are still bestfriends. She actually ended up Marrying us! And every year on Sept. 8th, I call and thank her for introducing me to my soulmate.

10 Years!

Happy 10th Anniversary!

Ten years ago today we took this picture.

I'm going to spend time with my hunny now, I'll write more later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Jack!

Jack Kendrick Johnson
August 31, 2006 - September 1, 2006

My Little Man Jack,

I can't believe it's been a year since you were born and passed away. It doesn't seem like it's been that long. I don't cry everyday anymore. It sneaks up on me in the shower a lot and I completely lose it when I see your 2nd cousin who was born 2 weeks after your due date. I couldn't imagine a day without bawling before so I guess I am dealing better even though I miss you just as much if not more. With this new schedule I'm thinking more seriously about finding a support group because I have a tendency to sail down "De-Nial" river because depression can take over my life. I pretty much stopped working on my grief seven months ago because I was scared I would lose control and end up in a loony bin. I couldn't read my online support boards anymore because all the ladies I had met after losing you were all getting pregnant. It's not fair that they are so fertile and can get pregnant so easily. You may be the only child I ever conceive and give birth to. ARGH this isn't supposed to be about me!

Your dad and I have made it a habit to purchase every elephant we see at a store. I can't imagine how our house would look if Butterflies or Dragonflies were your "symbol". Although there are times when Dragonflies come up and seem to linger around me more then usual and I think of you. It always sparks one of our little conversations. After reading The Lovely Bones, I imagine you right there with me when I talk to you. Of course it seems you're everywhere, like the deer and the lady bug at the cemetery. You're a part of everything in nature to me.

We finally got to see your star in the Big Dipper this past weekend! We've always just looked for the Big Dipper as a whole to talk to you in the sky. But in Moab you can see all the tiny stars that are apart of it, and there was yours, practically holding hands with the 2nd star in the handle! It seemed to twinkle when I'd talk to you, I know all stars twinkle but yours was twinkling at just the right times.

We had planned on spreading some of your ashes on Our Rock in Moab, but it never felt like the right moment. I was also uncertain whether I wanted to let some of your ashes go at all. One moment I was 90% sure I wanted to, five minutes later I was questioning it. Your dad and I decided that we will know when it's the right time and the right place.

I found the most perfect little birthday cake for you and for the same reason above, we still haven't cut the cake. It traveled well in our cooler and still looks perfect. I imagined your first birthday when I was pregnant with you and cutting the cake without you in a highchair prepared to attack the cake with your face seems unbearable. I've thought about freezing it and maybe trying again next year but I don't know.

Your grandpa and grandma P went to the Angel in Salt Lake and left you some flowers. I think your dad and I will go to the one here this weekend. Everyone in the family was thinking about you and missing you more then ever this weekend. Keara gave us the cutest little crocheted elephant (picture above), it's so cute and I hadn't planned on leaving it in my car but it's like a little piece of you that makes me smile when I get in. Makes me smile...did you notice? Oh how I must be growing. We also purchased a tiny Utah Centennial plate with your name on it, since the Centennial plate has Delicate Arch on it, it seemed appropriate. Also being in Utah during your first Birthday and Angelversary, it is something to remind us of this special trip.

I tried to talk your dad into getting tattoos with me, but he didn't like the look of the tattoo shop in Moab, so I'll have to settle for one here in Phoenix. I think we might be making this Moab trip an annual event. Had we stayed home for your special days, we might not have gotten out of bed. Instead we kept ourselves busy, showing Arches to Keara for the first time and being with friends that mean so much to us! It was the most mentally healthy thing we could have done. Hopefully next year we'll get to spend it with more family and friends. I think it was good that only Robby, Regina & boyz and Keara came this time though, it was a little more intimate for the First Year.

Well little man, that's all for now. Go play with your friends Cayman, Jeremiah, Zane, Peter and Theo in the stars. Feel free to visit me in my dreams, I'd love to hold you one more time, even if it is just a dream!

Miss you Always, Love you Forever!

Love Mama

Donate for My Kindness Project to Honor Jack!